Tulsa's Blair Mansion Razed To Make Way For Park; Drone Camera Captures Demo

Saturday, February 1st 2014, 11:34 am
By: News On 6

Demolition crews are taking down a Tulsa landmark Saturday to make way for a new city park. The Blair Mansion with its huge front lawn was initially to be moved to another location; however, former owner Daniel Buford said moving the mansion wasn't feasible.

Buford sold the property to the George Kaiser Family Foundation and was responsible for moving the home, which was built in the '50s. The site will be part of the new 60-acre city park called "A Gathering Place for Tulsa."

The Blair Mansion was never a part of the plan for the GKFF's vision for the park, according to concept plans and renderings released last year.

Read more about the plans for "A Gathering Place for Tulsa"

Buford said he intended to relocate the stately home and has spent more than a year exploring how to do so before opting for demolition instead.

A study revealed the neighborhood streets were too narrow, trees would have to be removed and the house couldn't fit through the underpasses to get out of the neighborhood without significant damages, Buford said.

His decision to demolish the home was made public the night before crews were scheduled to raze it.

Read a letter from Daniel Buford about his "difficult decision" to demo

The Southern plantation-style mansion was designed by John Duncan Forsyth who is also the architect behind All Souls Unitarian Church.

It was built as a replica of the Biloxi, Miss., retirement retreat of Jefferson Davis, the only person to serve as President of the Confederate States of America. Davis' former home, "The Beauvoir," is a seaside cottage that is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and has national landmark status.

Plans call for a new lake called Blair Pond to be built at 2800 South Boston, the mansion's address.

Keep checking back for updates, and News On 6 viewers can watch reporter Dan Bewley's story in tonight's newscasts.